4 of the worst things you could say or do in an interview

by Darren Peck

4 of the worst things you could say or do in an interview

Battling nerves, trying to remember all the research you’ve done and struggling to answer difficult questions can make interviews incredibly tricky. Yet while a lot of employers will excuse you for stumbling over your words, there are some things many will simply refuse to overlook. Ever wondered why you didn’t get the job? You may have been guilty of saying or doing one of the following.

Looking at your phone while waiting

Whether you thought you’d give Facebook a quick check in reception or you nipped on Instagram while the interviewer left the room, being caught on your phone can give the worst first impression. Not only does it suggest you’re bored, but that you aren’t really bothered about the position. Employers might also think that you’d whip your phone out whenever their back’s turned if you did get the job.

Being too informal or personal

Take care not to let any swear words slip out, keep a lid on the dodgy jokes and don’t ask when the baby’s due or any other personal questions. Although you want to demonstrate that you’d fit right in with your sparkling personality, don’t forget interview protocol; being too informal or personal could make you look unprofessional and may cause offence.

Criticising your old boss

No matter how awful your old boss was, even if they’re the very reason why you’re now sat in the interview chair, criticising them will just make you look bad. Your potential new employer may assume you’re unable to get along with people, work in a team or listen to authority, and might think you’d badmouth them too.

Forgetting to prepare any questions

Always note down something to ask at the end, and not “how long is lunch?” or “what will my salary be?” Having at least one question prepared shows you’re interested in the position and have done your homework. And if the interviewer has already answered everything, make sure you let them know by telling them what you were planning to ask.


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